Kentucky County Attorney Under Investigation for Racist Letter


by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

UPDATE: Karl Price will be disciplined for his letter, though he will keep his job as an assistant county attorney. Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said Price will be required to attend sensitivity training and would be receiving a written reprimand for his remarks in the letter and to Insider Louisville, who initially reported on the letter last week.

You can read the full letter to Price on Insider Louisville.

H/T to commenter JoeSonka


ORIGINAL ARTICLE: An assistant attorney at the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office in Kentucky is under review for a racially insensitive letter he sent to a Korean American family through his private practice, according to Insider Louisville.

Karl Price wrote a letter to the owners of the Hwang Martial Arts Academy on May 22 repeatedly referring to them as “foreigners” and saying they relied “on some ancient Asian principle.”

Price’s client is suing the owners over what was an “ordinary” dispute that arose a year ago—the plaintiff had signed their children up for karate lessons and paid for the tuition up-front, but they had to pull one of them out early due to a medical issue. The two sides have been trying to reach a financial settlement since then, and the plaintiffs recently filed a lawsuit citing the Consumer Protection Act.

In the letter to the Hwang’s attorneys, Price said, “This is a case of greedy foreigners who simply did not understand simple contractual relations notwithstanding the poorly written agreement to begin with.” He compares his clients—”law abiding [sic] Americans, small business owners”—to the “foreign” Hwangs.

“Maybe if these foreigners would have set aside their bias then we would not be at this stage,” Price wrote. “In my last email to Mr. Kang, my client agreed to accept the [undisclosed sum] plus his recoverable costs and these foreigners refused to pay it relying on some ancient Asian principle I suppose.”


(Image via Kentucky Trial Court Review Facebook Page)

Mimi Hwang, whose parents own the business, said their family contacted the Louisville Bar Association and the County Attorney’s office with their concerns about Price.

“I’m curious to see if he’s prosecuted Asians, or if he ever represented Asians,” Hwang said. “If he is saying this in his part-time work, I wonder if there’s been any impact on other Asians who have had to go up against Karl Price. Because obviously this guy just has a completely horrible view of Asian Americans, or even other immigrants.”

In a phone interview with Insider Louisville, Price offered an apology for anyone he may have offended. However, he did not think the letter was offensive or derogatory, citing the Hwang’s “broken English” as reason to believe they may have been “illegal aliens.”

A Jefferson County Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said they were reviewing the matter.

This apparently isn’t the first time Price has been accused of making offensive remarks. In 2009, Price was accused of referring to a client with a homophobic slur.


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